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Job Opportunity: Communications Lead with Pembina Institute

The Pembina Institute is hiring for a Communications Lead, based in Vancouver.

The communications lead reports to the B.C. regional director and will be integrated into the cross-organizational communications team. The successful candidate will be responsible for helping to shape the communications strategy and providing communications support for Pembina’s work on a variety of climate and energy issues currently facing B.C.

Check out the full job posting and application instructions here.

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Is climate change causing pre-traumatic stress disorder in millenials?

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Source: In These Times
Janez Volmajer / Shutterstock

What’s it like to come of age in the extinction age?

This article delves into recent research showing that millenials are very concerned about climate change. Unlike their parents who grew up under the Cold War threat, this generation faces a different fear: that of inaction. What are today’s youth doing to combat this lack of response to the very real and growing threats posed by climate change? Read the article here and learn more.

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The Problem with Saving the World

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Land cleared for palm oil plantations in Tasmania. Mattias Klum

The United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are about to replace the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are getting a lot of hate these days.The real problem is that the SDGs are profoundly contradictory, to the point of being self-defeating.

On the one hand, the preamble affirms that “planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home” and underscores the necessity of achieving “harmony with nature.” It establishes a commitment to hold global warming below a 2° Celsius increase, and calls for “sustainable patterns of production and consumption.” The goals include the restoration of water-related ecosystems, a halt to the loss of biodiversity, and an end to overfishing, deforestation, and desertification.

Yet despite this growing realization, the core of the SDG program for development and poverty reduction relies precisely on the old model of industrial growth — ever-increasing levels of extraction, production, and consumption.

This is the mortal flaw at the heart of the SDGs. How can they be calling for both less and more at the same time?

Continue reading here.

 

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Hanging Underneath A Bridge Is A Great Place To Put Wind Turbines

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JOSÉ ANTONIO PEÑAS (SINC)

One problem with wind power is that it’s expensive to build and hard to find the space. Problem solved.

Viaducts—the technical term for arch-supported bridges—are already impressive swoops of engineering prowess. But this kind of infrastructure is about to get even more amazing, as giant spinning turbines are hung from the spans.

The Juncal Viaduct in the Canary Islands is serving as a model for the project, completed by researchers from Kingston University in London. The scientists’ calculations show that installing turbines between its tall legs would produce enough power for 450 to 500 homes, or around half a megawatt. “This kind of installation would avoid the emission of 140 tons of CO2 per year, an amount that represents the depuration effect of about 7,200 trees,” Oscar Soto, a researcher on the project, told the Spanish-language SINC.

Continue reading here.

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We’re building a movement to stop Nestlé from draining public lands dry in California and worldwide

Global Industry Outlook: Health, Consumers, Tech and Travel: Bulcke

Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Michael Wuertenberg

California is experiencing its most severe drought in recorded history. Lakes and rivers are drying up, cities are instituting water rationing, and no relief is in sight.

California citizens are facing mandatory water restrictions, but Nestlé Waters’ bottling plants are operating at full volume. In fact, Nestle’s response to public outcry for water conservation has been anything but concerned. Recently, a reporter asked Nestle Waters North American CEO Tim Brown if he’d move Nestle’s operations out of California during the drought. His response? “Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.

In a period where the state is drying up, California can hardly afford to waste water. It’s time to let Nestle’s CEO know that his refusal to conserve water is unacceptable.

Continue reading here and tell Nestlé to stop bottling water from our public lands today!

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To learn more about climate adaptation, biodiversity, crops and food supply, see the following ACT reports:

Biodiversity Reports

Crops & Food Supply

 

 

 

 

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Deadly floods leave trail of destruction across southern Asia

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Men try to shift a log from a roof in Kale township, Sagaing, Burma. Four areas of the country have been declared disaster zones. Photograph: Lynn Bo Bo/EPHeavy monsoon rains have continued to lash much of southern Asia, threatening further casualties and more destruction after a week of lethal floods and landslides.

Heavy monsoon rains have continued to lash much of southern Asia, threatening further casualties and more destruction after a week of lethal floods and landslides.

More than 100 people have died and up to 1 million fled their homes as land from Pakistan to Burma was deluged.

Read the full article here.

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In Canada, we face similar problems. Over 7 million Canadians live in coastal communities*. ACT’s work on sea level rise has primarily been with the Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR) project, a 5-year multinational research project to document these increased risks facing coastal cities. Learn more about our work with CCar here.

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Canada’s tar sands landscape from the air – in pictures

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A new book of aerial photographs, Beautiful Destruction, captures the awesome scale and devastating impact of Alberta’s oil sands with stunning colours, contrasts and patterns. The book also includes 15 essays by prominent individuals from environment and industry, sharing their insights, ideas and opinions. Photographs by Louis Helbig.

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In hot water: Columbia’s sockeye salmon face mass die-off

salmonThe devastation to the local sockeye salmon population is just one of climate change‘s effects on wildlife and will “likely” reoccur intermittently over the next decade, James J. Anderson, a University of Washington fisheries scientist whose research focuses on the fish of the Columbia basin, told Al Jazeera.

“The larger problem is that the climate is changing faster than our ability to comprehend the magnitude of the problem,” he said. “Warmer rivers and salmon die-offs can be added to the many events that individually may be random, but which together reveal a rapidly changing world.”

Read more here.

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To learn more about climate adaptation, biodiversity, crops and food supply, see the following ACT reports:

Biodiversity Reports

Crops & Food Supply

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Job Opportunity with World Resources Institute

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is hiring an Adaptation Policy Research Analyst based out of Washington, DC.

The Research Analyst will assist with analysis related to climate change adaptation and the United Nations global climate change negotiations. This position also involves work on adaptation planning and policy in developing countries.

Read the full job posting here, and please share with your networks!

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Climate Change ‘Triple Threat’ Increases Risk for Coastal Cities

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Justin Lane/EPA
Source: The Guardian

Many US cities are at increased risk of climate change due to being located along the coast.

New research published in the journal Nature Climate Change lays out why coastal places are at increased risk. The combination of sea level rise, increased precipitation, and storm surge will cause larger and more detrimental effects for cities like New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Since 40% of the US population lives in coastal cities, this poses numerous problems for the economy, infrastructure, and human safety in addition to the environmental damage.

Read the full article here.

Here in Canada, we face the same problem. Over 7 million Canadians live in coastal communities*. ACT’s work on sea level rise has primarily been with the Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR) project, a 5-year multinational research project to document these increased risks facing coastal cities. Learn more about our work with CCar here.

 

*Source: Government of Canada

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New Grant Funding From Real Estate Foundation of BC

We are very grateful that the Real Estate Foundation of BC has approved another major grant for our work!

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This funding will allow us to continue our work on water governance, as well as on the intersection between food, energy, water, and biodiversity in a changing climate. The Real Estate Foundation of BC has provided us with funding in the past and we are excited that they continue to support our work.

Our previous work on water governance includes numerous reports and briefing papers, which you can check out here. You can also read more about our work on biodiversity, energy, and food. We are looking forward to doing more work connecting these areas and further exploring the effects of climate change.

Thank you to the Real Estate Foundation of BC!

Read about all the great projects they’ve funded here. 

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Prehistoric trees may help a B.C. forest fight climate change

BCTreesAdaptThe trees are dying.

As California enters its fourth year of drought, the American state has lost over 12 million trees to the ongoing dry conditions. Another million trees are expected to die this summer.

It’s not as dire yet in British Columbia, where the province is only in the first year of a drought. But already signs of heat stress to some of the trees are unmistakable.

While drought-resistant plantings might offer one solution, an ecological artist and writer is offering another: deliberately moving species from further south to the north.

Continue reading here.

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To learn more about climate adaptation, biodiversity, crops and food supply, see the following ACT reports:

Biodiversity Reports

Crops & Food Supply

 

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Bangladesh powering ahead with solar

Bangladesh is making great strides with off-grid solar power.

The Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) has installed 145,000 solar home systems to date, and plans to have solar on 6 million homes in the country by 2017.

Bangladesh

Copyright: G.M.B. Akash / Panos
Source: SciDev.Net

BGEF also focuses on employing women from rural areas as technicians and managers. Since rural people and women are two groups more affected by the impacts of climate change, this is a great added benefit to the company’s plans.

Read more about this initiative in the article here.

The move to a low-carbon economy is important here in BC as well. ACT has done work on how and why a transition to renewable energy is necessary. You can learn more about this work here. 

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The world’s most famous climate scientist just outlined an alarming scenario for our planet’s future

A handout photograph provided by NASA shows glaciers and mountains in the evening sun during an Operation IceBridge research flight, returning from West Antarctica, 29 October 2014. EPA/MICHAEL STUDINGER / HANDOUT

A handout photograph provided by NASA shows glaciers and mountains in the evening sun during an Operation IceBridge research flight, returning from West Antarctica, 29 October 2014. EPA/MICHAEL STUDINGER / HANDOUT

In the new study, Hansen and his colleagues suggest that the “doubling time” for ice loss from West Antarctica — the time period over which the amount of loss could double — could be as short as 10 years. In other words, a non-linear process could be at work, triggering major sea level rise in a time frame of 50 to 200 years. By contrast, Hansen and colleagues note, the IPCC assumed more of a linear process, suggesting only around 1 meter of sea level rise, at most, by 2100.

Continue reading here.

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Beginning in Fall 2011, ACT partnered with the University of Western Ontario-led Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR): Building Adaptive Capacity for Managing Climate Change in Coastal Megacities program as the coordinator for research in Vancouver, the major Canadian city featured in the program. CCaR is led by former ACT policy author Dr. Gordon McBean (Climate Change Adaptation and Extreme Weather), and partnering with universities in Lagos, Bangkok and Manila.

The objective of the program is to develop the knowledge base and enhance the capacity of megacities to successfully adapt to and when necessary cope with risks posed by the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, in the context of urban growth and development. The cities were chosen to have a range of climate-weather, socio-cultural-economic characteristics; be representative of other cities; and provide enhanced research opportunities through ongoing efforts.

The outputs will be new, integrated knowledge on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies and their socio-economic-health implications; integrated, interdisciplinary simulation models to develop, test and validate knowledge-based adaptation actions; and increased numbers of highly-qualified people, both academic and practitioners, through knowledge mobilization and translation.

 

 

 

 

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The Climate Crisis Is Starting to Create a Global Consciousness Shift by David Suzuki

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Marchers at the People’s Climate March in New York in September 2014. (Photo: Annette Bernhardt/flickr/cc)

For years, environmentalists have called for an urgent response to runaway climate change. Evidence has poured in from around the world to corroborate Hansen’s conclusions, from melting glaciers, sea level rise and ocean acidification to increasing extreme weather events and changes in animal and plant behaviour and ranges.

I’ve been astounded by the lack of response to climate change over the years, but I’ll go out on a limb and suggest a shift is now taking place. Although we may not recognize its significance without the benefit of hindsight, we appear to be in the early stages of something huge.

Continue reading here.

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Is the climate crisis creating a global consciousness shift?

davidsuzuki

Credit: Nattu via Flickr
David Suzuki Foundation

In his latest blog post, David Suzuki wonders if we are entering a new phase in the climate change movement: that of global consciousness. Though scientists and advocates have been warning us for decades, only lately have many world leaders been taking the issue seriously. Are we experiencing a shift towards global awareness- and will that translate into global action?

There are so many effects of climate change that we are already seeing and that need urgent action. Loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather are just a few implications. We sure hope the world is ready to take global action!

Check out the article here. 

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